Community engagement a key focus for gas program

The Victorian Gas Program (VGP) continues to share its research with the community to help ensure its advice to government reflects the broad range of views across the state regarding onshore conventional gas exploration and development.

Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples, this week convened the tenth meeting of the VGP Stakeholder Advisory Panel in Melbourne. The panel is made up of a range of participants including farmers, industry, local government and environmental groups.

By meeting regularly to receive information and provide feedback, advisory panel members have developed an informed, in-depth view of the VGP’s work regarding onshore conventional gas.

A video capturing panel members discussing the work of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel and the progress of the program is now available here.

The VGP is building knowledge of the science, risks, benefits and impacts of onshore conventional gas exploration and development, which is under a moratorium until mid-2020.

In December last year, the VGP released its third progress report summarising its scientific studies into the state’s onshore conventional gas, offshore gas and underground gas storage potential.

The report indicates that the geology of the state’s onshore Otway Basin has the potential to host conventional gas in some areas, but too early to be definitive about possible future supply.

This week VGP scientists are at the Sungold Field Days near Warrnambool talking to farmers about their research. They are presenting 3D projections of the south-west’s geology to help locals understand what’s under their feet and why the area has the potential to host conventional gas.

Fracking and coal seam gas are not part of the VGP as both were banned in Victoria in 2017.

As noted by Victoria’s Lead Scientist Dr Amanda Caples:

“The Victorian Gas Program’s Stakeholder Advisory Panel has been a great opportunity for farmers, industry, local government and community representatives to better understand the assessment of onshore conventional gas resources.”

As noted by Victorian Gas Program Director Paul McDonald:

“The VGP is using science and technology to obtain a clearer picture of the state’s potential gas resources and is on track to deliver its findings to government in the coming months.”

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